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Pegu Club
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

33 notable NYC restaurants and bars that have now permanently closed

New Yorkers didn’t have a chance to give a final farewell to some of their favorite restaurants and bars.

By Bao Ong
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New York City’s restaurants and bars have never faced a more challenging time than in the past year. Even as indoor dining slowly returns, the number of businesses that close their doors for good keeps growing. Since the lockdown began in mid March, the number of new takeout and delivery options keep growing, some new restaurants have opened and outdoor dining was made a permanent fixture (though how long that can for is still to be seen). Still, many New Yorkers didn’t have a chance to give a final farewell to the following establishments below.

Baohaus

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Chinese Gramercy

Eddie Huang’s hit pork buns, dubbed the Chairman Bao, lured countless fans to his tiny shops downtown—he started in the Lower East Side in 2009 and eventually opened in the East Village on 14th Street—for the glistening slabs of Niman Ranch pork belly topped with Taiwanese condiments like powdered peanuts mixed with red sugar and pickled mustard greens sandwiched between. Other hits, which were perennial favorites on the best cheap eats lists across the city, included the Birdhaus Bao (fried chicken), Uncle Jesse Bao (fried tofu) and Fried Fish Bao—they were all under $6 each.

NITECAP interior
NITECAP interior
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Nitecap

4 out of 5 stars
Bars Cocktail bars Lower East Side

The entrance was hard to find and the waits could be long, but the effort was well worth it. Off-duty barkeeps and the people who wanted to hang with them could often be sitting next to you in the coz subterranean space.

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La Caridad

Restaurants Dominican Upper West Side
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The mashup of Cuban-Chinese cuisine is not common these days. At this Upper West Side stalwart, no one stayed a stranger when the staff mixed with the patrons to peppy cubano music. The portions were gigantic; the bread was steamy and buttery; and specialties like masitas de cerdo (crisp, chewy pork chunks) or bistec en escabeche (a platter-size steak pounded thin and marinated with peppers, onions, garlic, olives and vinegar) came with heaps of rice, beans and fried plantains. 

Photograph: Jakob N. Layman

Mission Chinese Food

3 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Contemporary Asian Two Bridges

At his Mission Chinese redux, Danny Bowien traded in beer kegs, paper dragons and a cramped, dive-punk Orchard Street basement for smart cocktails, banquet-hall booths and an ample, gleaming dining room in the far reaches of Chinatown. While this location is closed, you can find similar vibes at the Bushwick location.

 

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egg2
egg2
Jolie Ruben

Egg

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Soul and southern American Williamsburg

Long before Williamsburg became so trendy that it was no longer truly hip, Egg was the spot for breakfasts and long weekend brunches. You'd perch on mismatched chairs at a paper-covered table, wake up at a leisurely speed to the old-time folk music on the sound system, and tuck into a cheap meal that may include eggs Rothko (a slice of brioche with a hole in the middle that accommodates a sunny-side-up egg, all of which is covered with sharp cheddar) or a terrific country-ham biscuit sandwich.

Existing Conditions
Existing Conditions
Photograph: Gabi Porter

Existing Conditions

Bars Cocktail bars Greenwich Village

This respected bars served drinks that felt like they came from a mad scientist's lab witih lots of high-tech and wizardry. The seasoned owners Dave Arnold (Booker and Dax), Don Lee (PDT) and Greg Boehm (Cocktail Kingdom) ensured the cocktails were painstakingly perfect. 

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The Banty Rooster
The Banty Rooster
Photograph: Noah Fecks

The Banty Rooster

Restaurants West Village

Delores Tronco-DePierro, who opened Denver's popular Work & Class, and her husband, executive chef John DePierro, offered a taste of difficult-to-find Southwestern bites. The dinner menu presented dishes like pork spiked with hatch green chillies, New Mexican wedding cookies topped with toasted corn ice cream and other intriguing items. 

Bar Sardine
Bar Sardine
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Bar Sardine

We’ll always remember the burgers at Gabriel Stulman’s gastropub, an intimate 28-seat corner spot in the West Village. It was a place that felt like it catered to locals as much as diners there on a first date.

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Taladwat
Taladwat
Photograph: Courtesy of Taladwat

Taladwat

Dining at Taladwat was akin to attending a pot luck—but much better because you’re sharing dishes that span the southern, central and western regions of Thailand. Chef David Bank doled out rich, spicy curries and hearty pork dishes that you don’t find from your local Thai takeout joint.

West Bourne
West Bourne
Photograph: Courtesy West Bourne/Nicole Franzen

West Bourne

The Mushreuben—a vegetarian spin on the diner classic had us dreaming of the roasted maitake mushrooms with sauerkraut, peppadew peppers, melted Swiss cheese and special sauce between toasted caraway-rye bread—was one of our favorite dishes in 2019. Other plates at Camilla Marcus’s Soho restaurant brought a cool West Coast vibe to New York we’ll miss.

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Good Stuff Diner
Good Stuff Diner
Photograph: Time Out / Adam Feldman

Good Stuff Diner

This neighborhood favorite in Chelsea on Sixth Avenue was one of the rare restaurants open 24/7 and an example of yet another dying breed of business: a no-frills New York City diner with quick, comfortable and warm (if no-nonsense) service.

Mermaid Inn
Mermaid Inn
Photograph: Courtesy of Mermaid Inn

Mermaid Inn

The original East Village location was a favorite for happy hour whether you wanted oysters, lobster rolls or even a Bloody Mary during the week. Luckily, there are three other locations in the city (Greenwich Village, Chelsea and Upper West Side).

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Fat Radish
Fat Radish
Photograph: Lindsay Maclean Taylor

Fat Radish

The Fat Radish may have had a reputation for being a hangout for the fashion set but it was a destination worthy for its food, too. From burgers to seasonal salads, there was a bit of everything here for everyone.

Uncle Boons
Uncle Boons
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz

Uncle Boons

Ever since opening in 2013, diners packed into Ann Redding and Matt Danzer’s Nolita restaurant Uncle Boons. The chefs set a stage—one filled with vintage posters and some tiki bar touches—that showcased modern Thai dishes without watering them down. New Yorkers ate it up; they loved the complex (and often fiery) dishes served in the laid back, fun environment. Now Redding and Danzer have decided to close the restaurant permanently after not reaching an agreement with their landlord.

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TAK Room
TAK Room
Photograph: Adrian Gaut

TAK Room

Thomas Keller, one of America’s most decorated chefs, has permanently closed his fine dining restaurant in Hudson Yards. It was the chef’s first NYC restaurant opening in 15 years when he opened the throwback restaurant in March 2019.

Let's Makan

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One of the few Malaysian restaurants in New York, Let’s Makan served a delightful menu of dishes—many you’d find street vendors serving in chef Michelle Lam’s homeland—such as various noodle soups and colorful desserts.

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Porsena
Porsena
Photograph: Jolie Ruben

Porsena

This neighborhood favorite in the East Village was known for its comforting Italian fare by chef Sara Jenkins. 

An Choi

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This Lower East Side Vietnamese restaurant was one of the early leaders in showcasing the Southeast Asian country’s cuisine with a modern twist. The owners still have their popular restaurant Di An Di in Greenpoint.

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Gem Spa
Gem Spa
Photograph: Courtesy of Gem Spa

Gem Spa

An East Village fixture for nearly 100 years, Gem Spa was known as much for serving its egg creams as its punk roots. The shop was already struggling to survive, but the last few months were just too tough.

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Nishi
Nishi
Photograph: Zach DeZon

Nishi

David Chang closed Nishi, a restaurant that was often overlooked in the chef’s Momofuku empire, but it was a sleeper hit of sorts—despite uneven reviews at first—for many with its innovative take on Italian cuisine. The celebrity chef is also moving his beloved Ssäm Bar from the East Village to take place of Bar Wayō, which opened last year, in the South Street Seaport. Elsewhere, a D.C. Momofuku location is also shuttered.

Pegu Club
Pegu Club
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

Pegu Club

As one of the best bars in New York, Pegu Club was also one of the seminal bars of the craft cocktail movement. Countless bartenders worked here that went on to open their own spots that New Yorkers have come to love. 

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Lucky Strike

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Before there was Balthazar or Pastis, Keith McNally’s Lucky Strike was a beloved Soho restaurant since its opening in 1989. While the neighborhood has been stripped of its artistic-bohemian vibe (and replaced with luxury stores through the years), this was one spot that made you feel like you found a one-of-a-kind treasure.

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The Aviary
The Aviary
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

The Aviary

The Alinea Group’s high-end cocktail dens—The Aviary NYC and The Office (a more speakeasy concept)—inside the Mandarin Oriental were reportedly already slated to close in April but the pandemic pushed the opening date ahead. We marveled at the mad scientist-level concoctions here (even if the pricey cocktails meant it wasn’t an everyday spot).

The Greene Grape Annex

A coffee shop—designed by the MP Shift team—popular for neighborhood regulars and people hanging out in Fort Greene alike, this corner spot was idyllic for hanging out and striking up conversations with strangers (in other words, it felt like a community space).

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Gotham Bar & Grill
Gotham Bar & Grill
Photograph: Evan Sung

Gotham Bar & Grill

For 36 years, Gotham Bar & Grill helped set the standard for fine dining in the city. It consistently garnered rave reviews, but it was a perhaps a confluence of factors—the trend toward more casual dining, a shift in ownership and the current crisis—that lead to the restaurant’s demise.

Takashi

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Takashi celebrated its 10th anniversary mark this spring, but diners will no longer be able to feast on its yakiniku fare (Japanese-style tabletop grilling) serving nose-to-tail cuts of beef. The restaurant offered a glimpse of the handful of quality yakitori restaurants open today.

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Jewel Bako

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The East Village boasted a destination sushi restaurant long before expensive omakase tasting menus became the norm among the city’s top Japanese restaurants. Jewel Bako offered pristine seafood with a stellar sake selection.

701West
701West
Photograph: Time Out / Ali Garber

701West

Chef John Fraser’s 701West inside the glitzy Edition Times Square Hotel is no more after the Marriott corporation announced its closing after barely a year in operation. It was one of the few destination restaurants in a neighborhood with limited choices (at least non-chain businesses) and despite its fine-dining atmosphere, the menu was very gently priced.

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Toro

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This sprawling tapas restaurant garnered lots of attention when it first opened—from its respected Boston chefs to the hip downtown location on the border of the Meatpacking District serving a distinct, modern spin on Spanish cuisine.

Daddy-O

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This neighborhood bar is an anomaly in an area where businesses are often designed to me the latest hip downtown restaurant. Sure, Daddy-O offered a fine cocktail menu and some great whiskeys, but the overall vibe was casual and welcomed everyone.

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The Best Restaurants in New York City

Davelle
Photograph: Time Out / Ann Sullivan

The best restaurants in NYC right now

Restaurants

October 2020: As New York restaurants open their doors for indoor dining, we can’t help but reflect on how much has changed for the hospitality industry during the course of the current crisis. We have mixed feelings about jumping back into full-service restaurant experiences—whether it’s dining outdoors or indoors (even with limited capacity).

For those of us choosing to dine out, it also comes at a time when the restaurant industry is re-examining how to create a more equitable workplace, from fairly paying employees to ensuring the safety of its employees. But we realize that many of you, dear readers, will nevertheless be choosing to support your local spots and want guidance of who is doing what right now.

While restaurants are evolving to meet the needs of this new landscape and additional guidelines for the reopening process are changing daily, we hope you’ll find this list helpful as you navigate these new waters. Please bear in mind that we have not been able to hit up all these spots since their reopenings, but we have stood behind their food and service in the past. Check back as we will be updating this list more often than we did prior to lockdown to reflect the ebbs and flows of the dining out scene. And, remember, with so many service workers putting themselves on the frontlines to feed us, we hope you’ll be gracious and tip kindly. 

Back in 2019, we made some radical changes to Time Out New York’s EAT List, gutting it from the ground up to forgo mentions to those uber-expensive fine dining spots. Instead, we focused on curating a feature you can use more readily in your day-to-day life than just on special occasions. Frankly, no subjective best-of list is perfect, but we are committed to regularly updating this list to make sure it’s not only useful but a more diverse and equitable representation of our vibrant city. 

Note: A number of the best chefs, restaurants and concepts in the city have been welcomed into the Time Out Market. Because that is the highest honor we can award, and we now have a tighter relationship with them, establishments related to market vendors have all been included in the EAT List but not ranked alongside other great establishments in the city. You can find those places below. We look forward to welcoming you back into our markets when it is safe to do so again. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best dishes and drinks in NYC

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